Is My Tinnitus Inherited?

Woman grimacing with hand on the left side of her head suffering from tinnitus

Do you have ringing in your ears that’s driving you mad? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you might have inherited it.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the term describing a person’s perception of a ringing, droning, or buzzing in the ear with no external noises present to explain this experience. The word tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”

How will my everyday living be impacted by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be annoying and can interrupt intimate connections. It’s normally a sign that you have damaged hearing or some underlying health condition and not a disease in and of itself. You might hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can impede your ability to focus.

Tinnitus is always troublesome regardless of how it’s manifesting. impact your sleep and even cause anxiety and depression.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be constant or temporary. Lengthy exposure to loud sound, such as a rock concert, is typically the cause of short-term tinnitus. Tinnitus has been known to co-occur with a few different medical conditions.

Here are a few situations that typically go along with tinnitus:

  • Changes in the composition of the ear bone
  • Various medications
  • Excessive earwax accumulation
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • Inner ear infections
  • Age-related hearing impairment
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor forms on the cranial nerve going from the inner ear to the brain
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) triggered by a TMJ disorder
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the delicate hairs used to conduct sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Exposure to loud sound for prolonged periods of time
  • Trauma to the neck or head

Could I have inherited this tinnitus from my parents?

Generally, tinnitus isn’t an inherited condition. However, your genetics can play a part in this symptom. For example, ear bone changes that can result in tinnitus can be passed down. Abnormal bone growth can cause these changes and can be passed down through genes. Some of the other conditions that can lead to ringing in the ear may be passed down from your parents, including:

  • Specific diseases
  • Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
  • Being predisposed to depression or anxiety

You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are conditions that become breeding grounds for tinnitus which you might have inherited.

If your family has a history of tinnitus, you should definitely come in for an assessment.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.